So it’s a new year, and you’re ready to market your business better. Amazing! But where do you start? Before you dive into hours of researching and becoming a marketing master, let me tell you that you have three options.
Option 1: Hire an internal marketing team. You hire employees who handle all your marketing needs from within your company. Having a fully functioning internal team is great, although this includes finding the right talent, onboarding, ongoing training, benefits, and turnover.
Option 2: Freelance your marketing projects out to individual freelance marketers. This may be the least expensive option however it requires you to provide content and oversight and can be time intensive.
Option 3: Hire a Marketing Agency. This option is ideal for those who prefer access to a full team of industry experts, requires little oversight, quick execution, and is more affordable than hiring one Marketing Manager in-house.
Knowing which option is right for you may feel overwhelming, but don’t worry! We wrote a couple of guides [Link to Agency vs. In House and Agency vs. Freelancer blogs] to help determine which is best for you.
And the truth is, all three have their pros and cons. One of these options might work for your business now but might not work as well six months from now. The important thing is to figure out which one does work for you. Regarding your marketing, the most significant factor should always be what works best for your business and will push you toward your growth goals. In fact, some companies utilize more than one of these options because it’s what works for them in the season they’re in.
That being said, there are some unique benefits to working with an Agency. Especially if you are a small business, newly in business, or overwhelmed by the world of marketing, so let’s talk about five of those benefits.
1. Employee Retention
In the wake of the great resignation, employers are finding it difficult to retain employees as they once could. This phenomenon is happening across industries, including the marketing industry. One of the unique challenges of marketing is that you need various employees skilled in very specialized areas. While there can be some crossover within a team of marketers, your web designer isn’t usually a top wordsmith, and your copywriter will probably go cross-eyed reading computer code. So when your marketing team is solely in-house, that means you are responsible for not only hiring them but retaining them.
Another unique challenge within the marketing world is that because of the specialization nature of the industry; there isn’t always room for your employees to promote or advance their careers. For example, if a company hires someone who is an incredible graphic designer, that employee can always grow in their skill set, but where do they promote to? As a result, most companies that hire for their marketing team find the turnover rate tends to be high. Not because they aren’t a great company to work for but because the only way for them to advance their career is to move on to more prominent companies or agencies usually. Because due to the specialized nature of the position, the only advancement available is working on larger, more diverse projects.
This is where agencies can shine. Agencies are always looking for the best and brightest in the biz. Because agencies work for multiple clients at a time, their employees usually feel more challenged by working for a diverse client list. But the biggest way agencies can help you in this area is that if they lose one of their talented employees, they are responsible for filling that hole, not you. The hiring problem rests on their shoulders, and they still have to deliver the services they’ve been hired to do. As a result, they will be more motivated to find the talent they can rely on. In addition, they’re responsible for payroll and benefits, not you.
When it comes to marketing, you need the best people on your team. Unfortunately, depending on where your business is at, you might not be able to attract that team when you hire within. But working with an agency allows you to access the best talent and remain within your hiring capabilities.
2. Save Big
It seems counterintuitive, but working with an agency can save you a ton of money in the long run. As I mentioned before, hiring an outside team means that the burden of hiring isn’t on you, which means the responsibility for the cost of hiring isn’t on you. This will free up your hiring budget to be used in a far more beneficial way. If you’re not worried about attracting the right marketing people to your team, you can focus on finding the other employees you need.
But beyond that, working with an agency means not investing in expensive software or equipment. You’re not liable for skill development, training, or tools that marketers use to do their jobs. Hiring an agency means that you are paying for the actual labor cost and not everything that goes into making that labor possible.
One of the other ways agencies help you save money is that they effectively use your marketing budget. For example, here at Pulse, we offer a Creative Retainer, a flat fee contract with a specific number of hours you get to use as you need. For one price, we can work on various projects throughout the month, and we don’t go over those hours without approval. Agency practices like this help manage your costs and use those budget dollars effectively.
3. Objectivity & Creativity
Most businesses begin as a dream fueled by passion, and we love that! But sometimes, our passion can cloud our judgment. This isn’t to say that you should disconnect yourself from that passion! But having a team to come alongside you can help keep your feet on the ground while helping you realistically dream big.
We’ve all worked for people who were brilliantly creative but had very unrealistic expectations about how those brilliant ideas become a reality. And while we need those people to help us push forward and think outside the box, we also need people to help guide others to realistic creativity. When you have a team of diverse creatives, you get the best of both worlds: unlimited creativity and realistic capability. Both of these are so important to creating successful marketing campaigns and strategies. But the best part of working with a team is the objectivity they bring.
Even when our creative, passion-based expectations are doable, they might not always be practical. We’ve all also had ideas we so desperately believed in or notions we got in our head about how things needed to be done that we couldn’t or refused to see alternative routes and methods. But some of those routes and methods are better than yours. Maybe cheaper, faster, and more effective. In fact, at Pulse, our whole team meets daily to review projects and get other eyes on them. It’s not to say that the original content is always bad, but having fresh eyes on anything is always helpful!
Having a team with healthy objectivity will actually make you better and help your business grow in new and creative ways.
4. Free Your Time
As a business owner, your time is valuable, and as much as you might want to have your fingers in every pot, that’s a recipe for burnout and disaster. While it might be difficult for leaders to learn to delegate (I would argue that it’s difficult for all passionate people to delegate!), doing so will transform the way you do business.
When you have a team you can rely on, you don’t need to micromanage or constantly check up on their progress. You don’t have to get into the nitty-gritty of their world to make sure stuff gets done. And that means you’ll actually have time to focus on the job of running your business. While marketing is a collaborative effort, when you’ve got the right people working for you, they’re dedicated to understanding your business as well as you do, which means that with the right team, you should trust their ability to make decisions on your behalf or seek clarification and direction when they need it. Working with an agency team should give you peace of mind, foster a relationship of trust, and keep you free to do the hard work of running your business.
Effective teamwork also means effectively using your time to check in for updates or discuss future action plans. This is why we offer bi-weekly check-ins included in our Creative Retainer. Our team knows you’re busy and wants to use that time respectfully. Those check-ins ensure we’re working on what matters to you and using your hours in a way that works for your business.
5. Widen Your Marketing Abilities
One of the biggest benefits of working with an agency is having a vast pool of talent to draw from. Agencies are full of passionate individuals who continually work to expand and refine their skillset. That means you have access to a team who can tackle just about any project you can imagine. But what’s also great about that is that you can probably also do a lot you can’t imagine!
Because agencies specialize in being at the forefront of marketing trends you might not even know about. So when you partner with an agency, you get a team full of ideas and know-how you probably didn’t even know were an option! But even beyond that, agency teams can use various marketing tools you might not even know you need.
For instance, you may hire an agency like Pulse to update your website as a one-time project, maybe freshen up your look or go for a total re-brand, but we also can shoot video content. So you have access to a team that can create a beautiful website and video content you can share all over the place! But did you also realize that we can manage your social media for you? Now video content can be used and even reworked to widen your reach.
When you come to an agency, it’s great to know what marketing tools you want to use, but a good agency team will look at your business and make recommendations based on the best practices for your specific industry. They’ll get what you need to be done and widen your reach.
Marketing can definitely feel overwhelming. But, like anything, having the right team in your court makes it much less intimidating. And if you’re looking for that team, we’d love to talk about how we can support you and help make this year your best one yet. Contact us today!